Tuesday, June 21, 2011

73 years and going strong

Happy 73rd Anniversary

Nana and Boss

June 20, 1938

Yesterday Nana and Boss celebrated their 73rd wedding anniversary and there was a sweet article in the LaGrange Daily News about it. They may both be in their 90's but their true love for each other and sense of humor are still very much intact.

They’ve been married more than 70 years, but the only thing Adeline and Claude Foster remember even remotely arguing about is his love for playing golf.

“I really can’t think of anything other than that he was a golf nut,” Adeline Foster, 94, said Monday as they celebrated their 73rd anniversary at their home in Vernon Woods Retirement Community. “He’s just a good man. I love his personality. He’s still such a good man.”

When they married on June 20, 1938, they were the first couple to be married at St. Peter’s Catholic Church when it was on Church Street. They married on a Monday because it was the only day that worked in the traveling priest’s schedule to spend Sunday night in LaGrange, said their daughter, Cecilia Edwards.

“She wore a light blue dress that her sister had made,” Edwards said, “and, of course, he wore a suit.”

Claude Foster, 97, was 24 when he married his bride, who was 21. The two celebrated their honeymoon in Daytona Beach, Fla.

Adeline Foster said her husband didn’t ask her to marry him. He told her.

“All he said was, ‘We’re gonna get married,’” she recalled. “Actually, that’s all he ever talked about – getting married.”

“Yep,” he said. “She hooked me.”

“I didn’t hook him,” she said, smiling. “He hooked me.”

Adeline Foster was born in LaGrange, but she and her family soon moved back to their native Italy before returning to LaGrange when she was about 10.

Claude Foster was born and raised in LaGrange on Vernon Street.

The couple started dating while she was still in high school, meeting each other for ballroom dancing – one of their favorite pastimes – at Highland Country Club.

“We both loved to dance,” he said.

“We still love to dance,” she finished.

The Fosters have three children – Jimbo Foster, Frankie Foster and Cecilia Edwards, and they also enjoy their eight grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. Claude Foster owned and operated Foster Plumbing, Heating & Air for years, first with his father. Now, Jimbo Foster and his son, Sidney, are carrying on the tradition.

“My greatest job was putting in the fountain on Lafayette Square,” Claude Foster said. “It took me a solid week just to regulate it so it wouldn’t overflow.”

Claude Foster is known as “Eachie” Foster to longtime LaGrange residents. He said he became stuck with the name “Eachie” at Boy Scout camp long ago.

“Some of the older boys wanted to smoke, and there was a certain tent you could go in to smoke, but you had to have a password,” he said. “For some reason, I suggested ‘Eachie.’ They thought it was so funny that they started calling me that instead.”

The Fosters said they’re proud of the adults their children have become.

“I think we were good parents to them,” Adeline Foster said. “I think we were successful raising them because we talked to them in a logical way about behavior and such, and we never held them back and said, ‘You can’t do this or that.’ And they never did disappoint us.”

Edwards said growing up, her parents “always made family gatherings a lot of fun.”

“Every single Sunday we had wonderful spaghetti dinners,” she said. “She cooked it every Sunday for years, and we always had people over.”

She said she thinks her parents’ happy marriage stems from both their positive outlooks and their desire to be active.

“They loved Georgia football games,” she said. “They loved going to Panama City and loved to travel. They’ve always been busy.”

She also said they’ve seemed to have grown “closer and closer through the years.”

The Fosters said the secret to a happy marriage is lots of dancing, and simply “to love each other,” Adeline Foster said.

“I just love her,” Claude Foster said, just before he and his bride gently walked hand-in-hand down the hall of Vernon Woods. “That’s all there is in this world. I’ve always loved her.”

Natalie Shelton can be reached at nshelton@ lagrangenews.com or (706) 884-7311, Ext. 229.

Read more: La Grange News - Couple marks 73rd anniversary